India’s poster boy in online retail, Flipkart, has been hogging the limelight over the years. It announced that Mekin Maheshwari, who was the head of technology, is now the Chief People Officer at Flipkart. In the early days, Mekin was also instrumental in drafting best practices for recruitment, performance management and compensation.
The company is on a high growth mode and last month it hired over a 100 IIT graduates. Founded by Sachin and Binny Bansal, Flipkart was a close knit group of engineers who wanted to make online shopping easier. As is the case with most of the startups, there is no HR department in the early days and so was the case with Flipkart. Over the years, Mekin gave a shape to HR policies in the organisation. In an interview with ‘Economic Times’, Mekin says,
“I find that companies which I respect for their people practices like Facebook, Unilever and Boeing have HR leaders who don’t have a background in human resources. This role is amongst the biggest in Flipkart. If we put together everyone who works for us, we have about 10,000 employees. Less than 1% of Indians buy online and that will grow 20-30 times in the next few years. The growth we are staring at is huge. For that, the organisation should have a very strong foundation and needs strong people and leadership capabilities. The size of this role was mouth-watering.”
This move shows the importance of building a good organisation culture and how it is not really necessary to have someone from an HR background. You, the founder or a member of the core team of a company, know the people you’ve hired. This puts you in the best position to solve people problems in the company. Here are some articles that’ll help you get started. Also have a look at the culture series we carried.